Contents (Click To Jump)
- 1 What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Reston?
- 2 How Does the Water in Reston Affect Your Plumbing?
- 3 How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Reston?
- 4 Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Reston?
- 5 When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Reston vs Hire a Plumber?
- 6 When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Reston?
What Are the Most Common Plumbing Issues in Reston?
Reston is not immune to the most common plumbing issues that face plumbers when they are called out. Anything from a busted pipe to clogs can force a homeowner to consult the expertise of a plumber. Some of the most common issues have simple preventative tasks that can help save a family from plumbing problems.
- Leaks are the number one call for plumbers. Leaks can happen for several reasons, including worn-out fittings and seals, hard water deposits causing corrosion, excess pressure on weakened pipes, and frozen pipes that crack or break. Leaks will happen no matter the diligence of the family. Inspections can help pinpoint weak areas that may cause leaks.
- Toilets are a significant source of leaks and clogs. The primary thing to remember is to not flush anything down the toilet that is not water-soluble. Flushing greasy materials, paper, and toys can cause clogs to form and build up, causing more significant issues over time.
- Clogs happen in more than toilets, and the principals are about the same. Don’t pour grease down the drain. It can thicken and create a clog. Hair and other seemingly harmless materials can catch on the sides of pipes and create an obstacle that grows and causes a significant clog. Avoid using a garbage disposal. The materials that are disposed of can cause unintentional clogging depending on the type of material.
- Tree roots are a problem for outdoor pipes. When planting a tree, be sure to plant at least 10 feet away from any underground pipes or lines. Roots can grow around and burrow into pipes and cause clogs and leaks.
Prevention is key to most of the common home plumbing issues. However, in cases like buying a new home, an inspection of the pipes can give you a clue as to the plumbing condition and any repairs that might be necessary before any significant plumbing problems happen. Scheduling an annual inspection before the freezing season can help determine the effectiveness of your system and allow the plumber to prepare pipes for winter.
How Does the Water in Reston Affect Your Plumbing?
The water in Reston is considered hard, leaving deposits of calcium and magnesium in pipes and appliances. Once the Potomac River and Occoquan Reservoir water is treated at the James J. Corbalis Jr. or Frederick P. Griffith Jr. treatment plants, it is transported through the City’s pipe system into individual homes. The hardness of the water may cause deposits that corrode or even break fixtures in the house. Hard water can also leave soap on the skin, hair, laundry, and shower walls. However, it is not the only substance that can cause harm to both the body and the pipes.
Salt from winterization leaches into the bodies of water and can not be eliminated at the treatment plants. Salt can further corrode pipes and appliances while being harmful to people with certain medical conditions. There are a couple of ways to reduce both the salt and hard water minerals in the water.
Installing systems like a reverse osmosis water treatment system can reduce contaminates and salt in the water. Adding a water softener can further reduce minerals introduced into the home. Installing a whole-home system can not only assist your pipes to last longer, but it can also improve your health and wellbeing.
How Much Does Plumbing Usually Cost in Reston?
Plumbing covers many aspects of the water or gas entry into the home. Pipes, fittings, seals, and fixtures all fall under the plumbing umbrella. The cost to install the plumbing differs from the cost of maintenance, inspections, and replacement. No matter what type of work is to be done, there are cost factors like materials, labor, pipes, and emergency services that can determine the final cost of the plumbing project.
Each company has its overhead, financing, fleet, and personnel costs reflected in the labor costs of the plumbing job. Labor is one of the most significant expenses of calling a plumber. Some companies offer a flat rate for small tasks like clearing clogs and repairing seals. Larger jobs will incur an hourly rate, and the average rate is around $60. Replacing a home’s pipes or installing new pipes can require a master plumber who, because of experience and education, can charge up to double the hourly rate.
We can include small materials like O-rings and adhesives in the flat rate charges. Pipes vary by material type and can cost anywhere between a few cents to over $5 per section. This cost alone can drive re-piping and new installations over $10,000. Fixtures cost extra on their own; installing them falls under the labor costs. Each type of toilet, size of the shower, and bathtub has its price depending on brand, style, and size. Unremarkable replacement toilet installations can run around $3,000, including the labor and fixture price. However, there are rebates to offset the cost.
One of the most expensive costs of a plumber is the emergency call-out. After-hours calls will incur close to double the rate during business hours. This rate is to cover the extra cost of having someone skilled available at all hours to mitigate damages and repair significant issues quickly. They may only reduce the damages during the emergent visit, leaving a portion of the plumbing unusable until they can bring the necessary supplies and equipment in the morning. Knowing how to turn off the various water valves in the home and their locations can prevent this service from being necessary. To determine if immediately calling a plumber is needed requires gauging if the water can be turned off and left off for a few hours without causing more harm to the home. If you can turn the water off, call the plumber in the morning. Mainline breaks are always an emergency because it not only affects your home but the whole neighborhood’s pressure.
Can Better Plumbing Save You Money in Reston?
With new technology advances and home upgrades to make the house more intelligent, more efficient, and sometimes semi-sufficient, plumbing cannot be overlooked. Replacing, repairing, and upgrading the plumbing can reduce water use, repair bills, and make the home more comfortable. Here are a few tips to accomplish the feat:
- Install dual flush toilets to reduce waste when not flushing solids.
- Install a digital shower monitor to reduce pressure and create the perfect temperature before turning the shower on. This, in turn, reduces water waste waiting for the right temperature.
- Install a tank-less water heater. Not only does it reduce standing water, but it heats the water faster and more efficiently than its tanked counterparts.
- Energy-efficient appliances like dishwashers and washing machines also can reduce the amount of water they use. There are also tax incentives to purchasing energy-efficient appliances.
Reduction of water use helps with more than money. It enables the environment to recover from the presence of humans. The less water consumed means less wastewater treated and leached into the ground. Some products like cleaners and medications can contaminate the wastewater and lead to undesired effects on the environment. Fairfax Water offers many forms of education on how to reduce water usage.
When Should You Call the Water Utility Company in Reston vs Hire a Plumber?
Granted, things like a broken fire hydrant or water main, caused by road maintenance or a natural disaster, are firmly the City’s responsibility. However, if the leak is close to the property line, how can you tell if you need to call a plumber or the water company? There is a simple way to know if the massive puddle by the sidewalk is your responsibility.
- First, know where the main water cut-off is. The meter is attached to it. Keeping tabs on the number will not only alert you to a leak but can help you reduce usage.
- When a leak is found near the property line, turn the main off.
- Take a look at the meter. If the meter is still spinning, there is a leak between your meter and your home. Call the plumber and leave the water off.
- If the meter is not spinning, the leak is not on your property. Gather the appropriate information and call the leak into Fairfax Water. Your water pressure can remain low if you turn the water back on.
Be sure to check the meter before calling the water company because they will charge a fee if they determine the leak is on private property. They will not fix the leak either, and you will also have to call a plumber. These actions can prolong the leak and cause extra damages to the home or property.
When Do You Need Permits for Plumbing Service in Reston?
Permits are required for any significant work in a home. Small projects that can fall under a plumber’s flat fee, like clearing lines, installing new faucets, or replacing seals, will not need a permit. Should the work require new pipe, excavation, new valves, and new large fixtures, a permit will be required. A correctly certified, licensed, and insured plumber will know precisely when a permit is necessary and be able to obtain them before work is begun. Emergency services that require a permit can receive the permit the next business day after the repair is completed.